Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 203–209 | Cite as

Hybridization of the natural antibiotic, cinnamic acid, with layered double hydroxides (LDH) as green pesticide

  • Man ParkEmail author
  • Chang-Il Lee
  • Young Jin Seo
  • Sang Ryung Woo
  • Dongill Shin
  • Jyung Choi
Conservation biology and sustainable agriculture • Research article


Background, aim, and scope

Heavy application of highly toxic synthetic pesticides has been committed to protect crops against insects and diseases, which have brought about serious environmental problems. Thus, an inevitable and fundamental issue has been how to protect crops without harmful effects on nature. As a fascinating nature-compatible approach, we have attempted to hybridize soil-compatible layered double hydroxides (LDHs) with natural antibiotic substances. Only a few of natural antibiotic substances are available for pest control mainly because of their inherent properties such as easy degradability, high minimum inhibition concentration for practical application, and often extremely low availability, whereas LDHs exhibit unique properties such as anion exchange capacity, acid lability, and high affinity to ubiquitous carbonate ion which make them an excellent inorganic matrix to carry labile biomolecules in soils. This study focuses on the behavior of cinnamate–LDH hybrid in soils and the evaluation of its potentials as a green pesticide.

Materials and methods

The cinnamate–LDH hybrid was synthesized by a typical coprecipitation method. Cinnamic acid was analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography which was operated at 280 nm with C18 column. Its controlled release property was evaluated in a cultivated soil as well as a simulated soil solution. Its antifungal activity was examined against the growth of Phytophyhora capsici in a potato dextrose agar medium and a red pepper seedling, respectively.

Results and discussion

Structural characterization by X-ray diffraction, infra-red, and thermal analysis indicates that cinnamate molecules are safely intercalated into the interlayer space of inorganic layers of LDH by the electrostatic interaction to have an empirical formula of Mg3Al(OH)8·CAN·3.1H2O. The overall release pattern of the intercalated cinnamate in the soil solution could be best described by the power-function equation, \( {C_t} = a\;{t^b}\;{\text{or}}\;{ \ln }\;{C_t} = { \ln }(a) + b\;{ \ln }(t) \). This suggests that diffusion-controlled processes besides simple ion-exchange process play an important role in release of the intercalated cinnamate. Furthermore, its behavior in a cultivated soil clearly shows that hybridization leads to protection of cinnamate against the degradation as well as to a controlled release in soils. Its antifungal activity against the growth of P. capsici in a potato dextrose agar medium and a red pepper seedling definitely shows that the hybrid is very effective in controlling the root rot of red pepper.


This study demonstrates that the hybridization of natural antibiotic substances with layered double hydroxides could be a fascinating alternative for green formulation of pesticides. This unique hybrid system leads to the salient features such as protection of the substances against chemical and microbial degradations, controlled release, and nature compatibility.

Recommendations and perspectives

This study suggests one of the sound strategies to make a breakthrough in the formulation of green pesticides. Hybridization with inorganic matrixes not only enables the natural antibiotic substances to replace the synthetic ingredients but also adjuvants to be excluded from the formulations. Furthermore, the resulting hybrid exhibits a controlled release of the intercalated substances. Although substantiated further, this study is expected to attract a great deal of attention to reliable application of natural antibiotic substances in green protection of crops and agricultural products.


Green pesticide Hybridization Cinnamic acid LDH Protective delivery Controlled release 



Layered double hydroxides


Minimum inhibition concentration



Rural Development Administration in Korea supported this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Man Park
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chang-Il Lee
    • 1
  • Young Jin Seo
    • 1
  • Sang Ryung Woo
    • 2
  • Dongill Shin
    • 3
  • Jyung Choi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural ChemistryKyungpook National UniversityDaeguKorea
  2. 2.Farmtech 21 Co., Ltd Business IncubatorCatholic University of DaeguKyungpookKorea
  3. 3.Department of BiotechnologyCatholic University of DaeguKyungpookKorea

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